Macon County Chronicle

Relay for Life Event Friday, May 29th

In December of 1991 my father, Charlie Gregory, lost his courageous fight against cancer after a year-long battle with the deadly disease. I thought I had lived through enough to prepare me for almost anything, but none of us are ever prepared to lose a loved one to cancer.

Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature activity, offering everyone in the community a chance to participate in the fight against cancer. Thirteen teams will camp out at Key Park on Friday night, May 29th and take turns walking or running around the track with the common goal of eliminating this disease. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the overnight event.

Much more than a walk around the track, Relay is a time to celebrate those who have battled cancer, remember those lost and get inspired to fight back. “Those who have shared the same experience find common ground, hope and healing,” said Lisa Yokley, Relay Chairman, “and by participating, you have the power to continue the American Cancer Society’s progress toward a future where cancer doesn’t take the lives of our friends and family.”

The teams participating this year are: Nestle Water North America (The Predators), North Central Telephone (Atlanta Braves), Macon County General Hospital (Tennessee Vols), Measure-Up (Macon County Tigers), Green Bank (U.S. Olympics), Circle of Friends (Pittsburg Steelers), Macon County Cheerleaders, Wal-Mart (Tennessee Titans), Hillwood Helpers (RBS Bulldogs), Macon Bank (Carolina Mudcats Baseball), Walgreens (University of Kentucky), Walgreens-Youth (Dallas Cowboys) and the Interact Club.

“The event actually kicked off back in the fall,” explained Lisa, “with the various teams signing up and raising money for cancer in the months to come, culminating in the fun-filled overnight event on Friday night, May 29th.”

“Raising over $30,000 last year, the event will begin at 6:00 p.m.,” Lisa continued, “and will offer something for everyone, from the newly diagnosed, to caregivers and friends, to long-term survivors.”

“Whether it’s a parent, sibling, friend or neighbor, we all know someone who has been touched by cancer. Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost to this disease will never be forgotten, that those who face it will be supported and that one day it will be eliminated.”

The opening ceremonies will begin at 6:00 p.m. with the invocation by Dean Dyer and the National Anthem by Maggie Wooten. 6:15 p.m. team introductions, banner parade, two poems; 6:30 p.m. Inspirational Speaker Jack McCall; 7:00 p.m. Survivor walk-reception immediately following, two poems (2 readers from teams); 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. entertainment-students from area schools; 8:30 p.m. team activity; 9:00 p.m. Luminaria Ceremony (poems); 9:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m. entertainment, The Chigger Hill Boys & Terri; 10:15 p.m. team activity; 11:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m. entertainment, Saint Silas; 11:30 team activity; 12 a.m.-4:00 p.m. various activities planned for teams; 2:00 a.m.-4:00 a.m. Amazing Race team challenge; 4:30 a.m. Clean up; 5:00 a.m. Awards.

“Relay For Life is a great way for Macon County to demonstrate it’s commitment to fighting this disease,” said Lisa, “so please join us at Key Park on Friday night, May 29th and help us prove we are making progress in this battle. Every dollar you raise makes a difference to people in our community whose lives are touched by cancer.”

The Relay For Life 2009 Corporate Sponsors are Citizens Bank, Macon Bank & Trust, Macon County General Hospital, Nestle Water North America, North Central Telephone, Wal-Mart, and the Lafayette Rotary Club.

The Survivor T-shirt sponsors for 2009 are Coley Real Estate and American Exterior Supply.

“A special thanks to McDonald’s, Piggly Wiggly Save-A-Lot, and Sonic Drive In who are sponsoring the Survivor Reception. Also thanks to American Tool & Equipment Rental.”